Baby, It’s Cold Outside!!
You probably know the cold tolerance of a darling dog that you’ve had for a couple – or more – years, but if your baby or your experience together is relatively young (or if your dog is now a senior), bear in mind that if you’re cold, your pooch probably is cold too! If your pet is shivering, he/she is cold! In particularly cold wind-chill temperatures, shorter time outside in the cold air may be in order (maybe two 20- 30 minute walks instead of an extended 40-60 minute hike), and short haired dogs and pups may need some extra protection from the wind and the cold.
If your dog is young, gradually adjusting to exposure to cold is as sensible as gradually increasing/extending exercise (for all of us!). Did you know that as the temps dip, just like us, our pets can get frostbite? …especially on ears, nose and tip of tail. Frostbitten areas may appear red at first, and then fade to gray.
Make sure he/she has plenty of fresh water and maybe a little more food this time of year both to bulk up insulation and provide calories for energy (just don’t forget that if you feed a little more now, cut back again in the spring. An overweight dog – like an overweight human – is unhealthy. Extra pounds on our dogs contribute to decreased energy and mobility, and can shorten a dog’s life. Here’s a link for an overview to evaluate your dog’s weight: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-evaluate-your-dogs-weight.html.)
Lastly, just as you would not leave your dog for an extended time in a car in the heat of the summer, do not leave your beloved for long in a cold car.
Here’s a link to some other cold weather tips: http://www.petpublishing.com/dogken/news/pfizer01.shtml
Roll Out The Barrel…
The cold moves in and the trash barrel at Eagle Pond gets hauled away. Thus begins the challenge of garnering cooperation among dog owners and walkers to pick up the poop, and CARRY the filled poop bags TO the trash barrels located in the parking lots. Cal-Dog has proposed maintaining the barrel (removing and replacing used trash bags) over the winter, and Tim Murphy, DCR Supervisor of Cochituate and Callahan State Parks, is considering our proposal and the return of the barrel to the pond area. So if you see the barrel back, know that it is your Dog Owner Group at work! Now, please do you part by picking up the poop and disposing it in appropriate trash receptacles.
Be A Buddy, Dog!
A recent stroll from the Millwood lot to Eagle Pond saw piles and piles of poop lining both sides of the path to the pond. This kind of irresponsibility makes us all look bad, and provides ammunition to those who clamor to have Callahan dogs banned – or put on leashes. Of course, we all pick up after our dogs, right?? You do not need to be a board member, or active participant to be a good role model. As a responsible dog owner who appreciates the off-leash privileges that are constantly under scrutiny, be a buddy to the occasional visitor, and the new pup owner and the recently relocated dog family.
Take it from one who dons an ambassador-of-good-will-and-welcome cap on every hour at Callahan, most dog owners appreciate knowing what is expected within Callahan’s bounty. Carry extra poop bags and if you see someone looking the other way as their dog squats, say – in your friendliest voice – “uh-oh your dog is pooping. Do you need a poop bag?” Most will appreciate the kindness and will cooperate with the ‘request.’.
This is also a good opportunity to tell the new or uninitiated where they can find park-provided poop bags, where the trash barrels are located, where dogs can romp leash free and where dogs should be on-leash. If you’re shy, you can always direct them to our website (www.callahandogs.com) where they can find these tidbits and more information, and – while you’re at it – encourage them to get on our contact list. In numbers, we are strong!
If you are particularly wonderful, maybe you will use one or more of those extra bags on your way to the parking lot to pick-up the poop some poor dog’s master left behind. It’s not your job, we know. It’s not your responsibility to clean up after someone else’s mess, but if one bad apple can make us all look bad, then a good apple can make us all look, well, delicious! And really, it’s not as thankless a chore in the cold. Poopsicles are easy to pick up (once they’re unstuck from the ground) with hard-as-a-rock texture and virtually no smell.
Leashes and Joggers and Fines, Oh My!
The local DCR office has been receiving complaints about unleashed dogs on on-leash trails running up to walkers and joggers, coupled with demands that the park become an on-leash parcel and that fines be issued to transgressors.
Based on these recent complaints, the DCR will have representatives observing/monitoring the situation and reporting to DCR headquarters, possibly with suggestions and recommendations.
It is ALWAYS a good idea to know and follow the rules, and – again – to educate the newbies; so know the rules, follow the rules and make others aware of the rules. The off-leash privileges you help save may be your own!
We cannot print these guidelines (also found on our website: www.callahandogs.com) too often:
1) All dogs are to be on-leash in all parking lots, on trails that access/egress parking lots, along the Earthen Dam (aka the aqueduct) and Pipeline Trail, and on any trail that abuts private property/houses. If your dog is determined to be off leash in any of these areas, you may be fined.
2) Dogs should NEVER approach any park user without first being cleared to do so:
(a) always have your dog in view;
(b) always be aware of approaching ‘neighbors;
(c) call ahead to be sure your off-leash dog is welcome.
In most cases within Callahan, your dog will be welcomed, but we must remember that some people are afraid of dogs; some joggers are leery of being chased (probably with good reason); most people do not want to be jumped on (it is never OK for a dog to jump on a person), and some dog owners do not want other dogs approaching or interacting with their dogs. We should always assume they have a good reason (after all, they know their dogs better than we) and we are obliged to respect their wishes (as we expect others to respect our own).
3) All off-leash dogs must be under strict voice control. If you call your dog, he/she must return to you immediately. The ‘come’ command is the single most important thing to teach your dog. The ‘come’ command can save your dog from injury or worse. On a recent Saturday (those Saturday park users seem to need our advice the most!), the humans were engaged in conversation as their dogs romped unsupervised, when a couple of riders on horseback entered the pond area. The pack of dogs charged, barking at the horses. Some of the dogs backed off when they were called, but one stubborn dog stayed the course – and was kicked in the chest by the horse! Obviously this was a very painful price paid by a poor dog whose owner failed his pet. The owner believed that his dog “has a mind of his own”. If you know that your dog cannot dependably respond to the ‘come’command, then be vigilant in your awareness of your pet, and be-leash ready (i.e. the dog who was kicked should have been put on-leash as soon as the riders entered and for as long as they remained in the area). Keep your dog safe…
LOST DOG ALERT:
Not in our neck of the woods, but if you visit Medford or have friends or family in the area, please spread the word and help find mixed-breed Marisol, who was attacked by an aggressive dog, panicked and fled her puppy play group. She has been missing for a few weeks already, and her family ifs frantic to find her. Here is a link to a website they’ve set up with pictures and information: http://www.findmarisol.com/about/
If you hear of a missing pet – or heaven forbid you lose sight of your own! – let us know and we’ll get the word out. Contact us at here at our email address, on our website, or on our facebook page (heck yeah, we’re on Facebook. Visit and … ‘like’ us!!)
Looking For a Home:
Beagle Mix for Adoption: Sadie Mae is a lovable and friendly but relatively high maintenance girl (high outdoor energy Beagle mix with neurological issues affecting balance; a chewer who needs supervision/training/redirection or crating; an other-dogs-OK-but-no cat-in-the-hat dog who benefits from reassuring attention). You don’t know anyone who has all the time in the world, do you? If you do, shoot us an email and we’ll put you in touch with Sadie Mae’s foster family.
MEET AND GREET
You visit our website (you do, right? Have you sent in a photo of your baby?), you’ve friended us on Facebook (you will, yes?) and you read our Callahan Dog Owners Group news and newsletters, but have you met us and each other?? Cal-Dog will be scheduling a Winter Meet and Greet at the Millwood entrance and Eagle Pond areas in late January/early February. We’ll be cleaning up the poop (which seems to be a stubborn Winter problem), distributing our beautiful pamphlets (handy resources!), introducing ourselves to each other and to those weekend users who can most use the information, and hopefully increasing our membership and expanding our contact list.
Look for a date to be announced and then make a note of it. Please come for a bit to say hi and help distribute pamphlets and business cards and generally spread the word about our group. We will also have our attractive white Cal-Dog caps for sale! If you must miss us during our Winter Meet and Greet, then we’ll see you at the Spring clean-up, yeah??
Until then, stay warm, keep Fido safe and Callahan clean, mind those on-leash areas, and have a safe and…
Happy New Year!!!!